On March 8, 2006, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was issued.  At the time, it was the largest class action settlement in Canadian legal history, it was negotiated by several different parties representing Indigenous organizations, religious orders, Indian Residential School Survivors, and the federal government.

The Settlement includes the following main components:

  1. Common Experience Payment (CEP): amount of money to be paid to all former students who attended a recognized Indian Residential School (IRS):
  • $10,000 to each eligible Survivor who resided at an IRS for one, or part thereof, a school year;
  • $3,000 to each eligible Survivor who resided at an IRS for each school year, or part thereof, after the first school year;
  • Deadline for CEP applications: September 19, 2011; and
  • Deadline for CEP applications from individuals with disabilities, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances (including written reasons for delay): September 19, 2012.
  1. Independent Assessment Process (IAP): extra-judicial process to resolve claims of sexual assault, physical assaults, serious psychological abuse, and any other wrongful acts, committed by an employee of the government, church personnel, or by another student, experienced by a former student of a recognized Indian Residential Schools. This process is overseen by the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS):
  • The maximum payment is $275,000
  • An additional $250,000 may be awarded for claims of income loss
  • Deadline for IAP applications: September 19, 2012
  1. Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF): established in 1998 to create, reinforce, and sustain conditions that promote healing, reconciliation, and self-determination.  The AHF encouraged and supported Indigenous peoples and communities in building and reinforcing sustainable healing processes that address the legacy of the Indian Residential School system, including physical, sexual, mental, cultural, and spiritual abuses and intergenerational impacts.

In March 2010, the federal government announced that funding for the AHF would not be renewed.  It is predicted that the AHF will shut down completely in March 2014.   The AHF received funding in the amount of $350 million dollars in 1998.

  1. Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC): established to contribute to truth, healing and reconciliation.  The TRC shall complete its work within a five-year timeframe, which includes:
  • Establish a National Research Centre to allow access to former students, their families and communities, the general public, researchers and educators to historical materials.
  • Fund and host seven national events in different regions across Canada.
  • Fund and attend several community events designed by communities who are affected by the IRS system.
  • Coordinate the collection of individual statements by written, electronic, or other appropriate means.
  • Hold a closing ceremony at the end of its mandate to recognize the significance of all events over the five-year mandate of the TRC.
  1. Commemoration: assist in honouring, educating, remembering, memorializing, and paying tribute to former students, their families and communities, by acknowledging their experiences and the impacts of the Indian Residential School system.  The Commemoration process may include the creation of, or improvements to existing, permanent memorials and commemorative structures, or ceremonies or other projects.

Funds in the amount of $20 million dollars have been provided for Commemoration projects and events.

Federal Indian Day School Class Action

In March of 2019, a settlement of a nationwide Indian Day School Class Action lawsuit against Canada was announced. It was then approved by the Federal Court in August that same year. In January of 2020, the settlement was implemented, allowing for monetary compensation for Survivors or their descendants who attended federally-run Day Schools. From January 13, 2020, to July 13, 2022, plaintiffs in the form of Survivors and representatives can fill out and submit their claims for review. Claims are divided into five (5) levels on a harm grid, level one being the least harm experienced and therefore requires the least information from the claimant. The claim level increases with the severity of the abuse and harm experienced, with the highest amount of compensation being provided for level five. Compensation ranges from $10,000 to a maximum of $200,000, based on the identified level within the claim. The list of harm levels and eligible schools can be found on the settlement website.

Estate Representatives (trustee, administrator, or executor) are able to apply on behalf of a loved one who passed away on or after July 31, 2007. It is important to note that this lawsuit is against Canada, and is for federally funded and run Day Schools, therefore provincial schools and other institutions are excluded.

Website and contact information:

Claims Administrator:
Phone: 1-888-221-2898
Fax: 1-416-366-1102

Class Council:
Phone: 1-844-539-3815
Fax: 1-613-788-3629

Residential Day Scholar Class Action

This newly announced settlement was approved by a Federal Court on September 24, 2021. Beginning January 4, 2022 and concluding October 4, 2023, Survivors are able to submit their claims for monetary compensation for specific harms experienced as a result of their attendance at Indian Residential Schools as a Day Scholar. This settlement is for those who attended an Indian Residential School but did not spend the night at the school, meaning they were a scholar, but not a resident of the school. Day Scholars who attended a Residential School between 1920 and 1997 could be eligible for a set compensation payment of $10, 000. Descendants of a Day Scholar who passed away on or after May 30, 2005, could also apply on behalf of their loved one. A list of eligible schools is available on the settlement website.

According to the settlement’s website, “The lawsuit asserted that the purpose, operation, and management of IRSs destroyed the Class Members’ language and culture, violated their cultural and linguistic rights, and caused psychological harm.”

As of May 20, 2005, it is estimated that somewhere between 12,000-20,000 Day Scholar Survivors were alive. It is important to note that this lawsuit is against Canada only, and therefore only covers institutions developed and funded by the Federal Government under the Indian Act, meaning provincially-funded schools are excluded from this particular settlement. It is also important to note that Day Scholars can still apply for compensation under this settlement, even if they received compensation under the Federal Indian Day School Class Action or the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. However, they cannot apply for compensation from more than one settlement, for the same school year.

Day Scholars were typically excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, Common Experience Payment of 2006, because although they were students, they were not residents of the schools. Therefore, this Settlement aims to close the gap of Survivors of Indian Residential Schools who were denied compensation through the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.


Website and contact information:

Claims Administrator:
Phone: 1-877-877-5786 (Monday to Friday, 12:00 pm – 8.00 pm EST)
Fax: 416-601-6101

Class Council:
Phone: 1-888-222-6845 (toll-free)
Fax: 416-477-1657